National News

Gift Aid donation claims for charities and CASCs 

Find out about the types of fundraising donations that charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can and cannot claim Gift Aid on from this guide produced by HMRC 

It covers: 

  • The benefit rule 
  • When you cannot claim Gift Aid 
  • Sponsored challenges 
  • Charity membership fees 
  • Professional organisation membership fees 
  • Church collections 
  • Selling donated goods on behalf of individuals 
  • Charity events 
  • Viewing charity property 
  • Expenses paid to volunteers 
  • Charity auctions 
  • Donations to schools, charities involved in running schools and Educational Trusts 

You can read the guide here 

Gaming the system: A report from the Children’s Commissioner 

The overwhelming majority of children (93 percent) in the UK play video games. Yet despite its popularity, the culture of ‘gaming’- its rules and its rituals, the varying profiles of players, the risks they face – tends to be spoken of by adults, whether they be policymakers or parents, as if it were an alien landscape.   

While children can get great pleasure from playing games, either alone or with their friends, the widespread popularity of gaming and the evolution of gaming from offline to online has raised a number of concerns, such as children being able to talk to strangers or becoming the target of bullying. Many of these concerns tend to stem from more general concerns about child safety online rather than actual experiences of gaming. There are worries that over-exposure to video game content may have a damaging effect on the development and socialisation of young people, something compounded by concerns about the length of time children spend playing. A growing concern is around the potential for children to be negatively affected by violent imagery and other inappropriate content. The possible link between gaming and gambling, and the concurrent risk of addiction, is also a source of concern.   

The Commissioner’s Office spoke to children aged 10 to 16 to better understand what they love and what they dislike about gaming and how gaming could be improved for them. 

You can read the report here

Government needs to do more to improve the welfare of separated families 

A report published on 22nd October by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) calls on the government to do more to ensure that after parents separate, the social security and child maintenance systems supports the welfare of both parents and their children. 

There are 2.5 million separated families, including 3.9 million children, in Great Britain. Separation is often an extremely difficult and challenging life event, which carries an increased risk of negative outcomes and poorer life chances for children and parents involved. The report considers the experience of separated parents and their children in the social security and child maintenance systems. It particularly looks at the experience of parents who are not the main carers, but who want a continuing parental role – a group who are often overlooked. Overall, it recognises the difficult public policy choices faced by governments but asks whether separated parents are getting the support they need through a challenging and stressful time in their lives. 

The report finds that many separated parents share caring responsibilities for their children. However, those who need to claim social security can struggle to share care because the system assumes there is one main carer and so only one parent can be entitled to child-related benefits. The other parent can only receive single adult benefits which do not factor in the inevitable costs of caring for children even if parents are sharing care. 

In particular, young non-resident parents may struggle to share care, as housing support in the private-rented sector typically only covers a room for an adult in shared accommodation. This can make it difficult, or impossible in some cases, for a parent to have their child or children to stay overnight. 

You can find more information in this press release

You can read the report as an online pdf here

Safeguarding and protecting people for charities and trustees 

Protecting people and safeguarding responsibilities should be a governance priority for all charities. It is a fundamental part of operating as a charity for the public benefit.

As part of fulfilling your trustee duties, you must take reasonable steps to protect from harm people who come into contact with your charity.

This includes:

  • people who benefit from your charity’s work
  • staff
  • volunteers
  • other people who come into contact with your charity through its work

This guidance from the Charity Commission covers

  • Managing the risks
  • Policies, procedures and practices you need to have
  • Checking your charity’s policies, procedures and practice
  • Get checks on trustees, staff and volunteers
  • Protect volunteers and staff
  • Safeguarding children or adults at risk
  • Working overseas
  • Handle and report incidents and allegations
  • Working with or making grants to other organisations
  • Terrorism and the Prevent duty

To read the full guidance go to the Government website 

2019 UK annual report on modern slavery

This report provides an overview of modern slavery in the UK and explains how the UK has responded to this threat over the last 12 months.

The report is available as an online pdf from the Government website

Charity Commission News: Issue 64 

This issue includes: 

  • your responsibilities around political campaigning 
  • get ready to submit your charity annual return 
  • improvements to reporting charity fraud and working together to prevent it 
  • preparing your charity for Brexit 
  • safeguarding and protecting people 
  • updated guidance on independent examination of charity accounts 
  • reporting of related party transactions in charity accounts 
  • how to get help for an inactive or ineffective charity 

You can read it online here

New fund for frontline organisations tackling loneliness 

A new £2 million fund is being launched to help organisations at the frontline of tackling loneliness across the country, Minister for Civil Society Baroness Barran has announced. 

The funding aims to support frontline, grassroots organisations that bring people together and help them build social connections. These could include community cafés, street parties, coffee mornings or local walking groups.  

The investment will help small organisations promote themselves more widely, help fund the use of suitable venues and accessible transport, and bring established groups together to best serve local people at risk of loneliness. 

The funding marks one year since the publication of the Government’s landmark Loneliness Strategy which outlined almost 60 commitments to end loneliness. 

For more information go to the Government website

New £250 million Culture Investment Fund launched 

Innovative cultural projects, libraries, museums and creative industries will benefit from £250m of new funding for the culture and creative sector, the Culture Secretary announced today. 

Of this new funding over £125m will be invested in regional museums and libraries around the country.  More than £90m will be provided to extend the Cultural Development Fund which uses investment in heritage, culture and creativity to drive regeneration and growth. 

A further £18.5 million has been allocated to York’s National Railway Museum, and an extra £7 million for Coventry and the UK City of Culture programme. 

In total, over the next 5 years, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will invest an additional £50 million each year in culture and the creative industries across England to revitalise existing assets and to support new cultural development. 

For  more information go to the Government website 

CAF Report: how funders can support the resilience of small charities 

As part of its Resilience programme the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) they are learning what does and doesn’t enable a small charity to be more resilient. As the programme continues, they are starting to share what they are finding with the sector to support thinking about how charity resilience can be encouraged.  

This report shares insight from the programme for funders and major donors who are looking to support small charities.

The report features: 

  • Insight into what it’s like to run a small charity. 
  • Case studies on the small charities that took part in the programme. 
  • Recommendations for funders and key questions they should ask small charities they are looking to fund. 

You can read the report as an online pdf here 

Teaching Creativity in Schools 

Teaching creativity in schools must be given priority to equip young people with the skills they need in later life, according to a new report published on 15th October by Durham University and Arts Council England. 

Following 18 months of evidence gathering and research, the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education has launched its report and recommendations with a long-term vision for promoting creativity in education. 

The commission, chaired by Sir Nicholas Serota from Arts Council England with university Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Alan Houston, found evidence of the positive impact of creativity and creative thinking in people’s lives. 

It suggests all schools, from early years to post-16 education, should be encouraged and given the resources to support teaching for creativity for all young people, whatever their background. 

The commission adds that it is an issue of fairness that every child is given the opportunity to develop their creativity. 

The report calls for a range of organisations to deliver this vision including the Department for Education (DfE), Ofsted, Ofqual, Institute for Apprenticeships, Nesta, BBC, Arts Council England and Local Cltural Education Partnerships (LCEPs). 

The recommendations include the development of a pilot national network of creativity collaboratives, established through joint working between DfE, the Arts Council and education trusts. 

They also call for better recognition, research and evaluation of teaching for creativity in schools and a recognition of this teaching in the Ofsted inspection process. 

The reports also urges a clearer focus on digital technology and its role in a creative education. 

You can read the full report on the Durham University website